Agate Ring Information
Agate is an extremely affordable, durable and versatile ring gemstone, so agate rings vary widely from ladylike floral agate rings to agate cabochon rings for men. When learning about agate rings, it can be seen that they are available in many styles, with various agate colors, including green, red and black agate rings, as well as agate geode rings, banded agate rings, carved agate rings and fire agate rings. Agate rings have been worn by the ancients and continue to be worn by contemporary jewelry lovers, both as casual everyday rings, and also by celebrities making statements on the red carpet.
Agate rings can be worn by anybody; they are extremely popular all over the world, from the West to the East and may be worn for fashion or for their beneficial properties. In Indonesia, agate is a popular gemstone for rings and is worn for medicinal reasons. When it comes to fashion, rustic-looking gemstone jewelry is a trend that makes use of unpolished gemstones and unusual formations such as gemstone geodes. Agate geode rings are a way of showcasing interesting and unusual rock formations that have an internal layer of crystals. Small agate geodes are often cut in half and then set into rings. Agate slices are also used for rings which show off agate's interesting banded appearance.
Agate ring history goes back to ancient times. Agate rings became popular in ancient Greece after agate stone was discovered in a river by a Greek philosopher. Agate jewelry has religious significance that goes back to the twelve gemstones set into the Breastplate of Aaron and since agate is an abundant material, agate rings and other agate artifacts have been found all over the world. Carved agate rings were used as personal seals by various cultures around the world, from Persia to Rome. Often, the agate carving in the ring has outlasted the metal settings, which serves as a testament to the durability of agate. Indeed, Qing Dynasty carved archers' rings look as if they were made only yesterday. Some ancient agate rings feature "eye agate", which is a kind of banded agate with round patterns, that appear like eyeballs when cut en cabochon. These were sometimes used as amulets to protect against the "evil eye". In Europe, the German town of Idar-Oberstein has been an important center for agate cutting since Roman times and is still known for fine agate carving. Some interesting Roman agate rings were carved with mythological images that were believed to carry magical properties.
While agate rings of the rich and famous are not generally known because agate is not a rare gem type, there are some important historical agate rings. It seems that the provenance of agate rings is what makes them valuable, rather than being sought after by the wealthy. Some of the most famous and valuable agate rings include Qing Dynasty banded agate archer's rings, ancient Egyptian agate rings, and ancient Greek and Roman agate cameo and intaglio rings. One of the most stunning ancient Egyptian agate rings is a gold ring mounted with a carved carnelian cat. This showcases the intricate carvings that can be produced in agate. Since 2010, statement agate rings have been making appearances on red carpets. Melissa Rauch of "The Big Bang Theory" showed off a white agate ring at the Golden Globes a couple of years ago and Kevin Costner's wife, Christine Baumgartner favored a faceted black agate ring in 2015. Kate Hudson also showed off a white agate ring last year.
Agate ring designs are various, since agate is so versatile that almost any ring style can be fashioned from it. Small, faceted agate gems make beautiful agate cluster rings, including fancy floral designs. Additionally, either small or large agate gems can be made into affordable cocktail rings, which may be faceted, carved or cabochon cut. Agate cabochons are great for men's rings, and fine green agate cabochon rings can appear similar to imperial jade. Other great agate ring designs include agate cameos and carvings, and rings that are carved entirely from agate. Banded agate makes especially attracted carved rings and agate is often used for inlay in banded rings, including men's wedding bands. Finally, for those who like alternative styles, agate slices and geode rings are worth considering. These tend to have a natural, unpolished appearance and are perfect for casual wear.
With regard to agate ring buying guides, there are a few tips for agate ring shoppers. Agate rings can be quite easily found in jewelry stores but sometimes agate rings are sold as "agate jade". This is misleading since jade and agate are not the same material; jade is either nephrite or jadeite, and agate is a type of quartz. Depending on its color and pattern, agate may be sold under other names. For example, red agate goes by the name of carnelian, black and white banded agate is onyx and agate with fern-like patterns is known as dendritic agate or dendritic chalcedony. There are many other agate varieties that are fashioned into agate rings. Fire agate rings and agate rings with special markings tend to come at a higher price than other agate ring types because of their relative rarity.
How to wear agate rings really depends on the particular design. Agate rings can be worn for any occasion and are durable enough to wear every day. Those who were born under the astrological sign of Gemini often wear agate as a zodiac stone. Agate geode rings and agate slice rings are ideal for a day at the beach or for casual urban wear, where carved agate rings, agate cabochon rings and faceted agate cocktail rings are more sleek and suitable for special occasions. Oversized agate rings are perfect for making a modern fashion statement during a night on the town. Agate rings are hard-wearing and do not require any special care, but agate geodes and slices with crystals may begin to shed their crystals if not protected. If agate rings are purchased for crystal healing, they should be worn close to the skin, which makes carved agate rings ideal for this purpose.
Agate rings have been used for their medicinal properties since ancient times, when agate ring meanings included the ability to protect the wearer from storms, fevers, nightmares, stress and fatigue. In Chinese culture, agate has long been treasured as a stone of longevity. Agate was also said by the Chinese to soften the skin and improve eye ailments, and agate was often carved into beautiful finger and thumb rings. Red agate rings are highly valued in China and some believe that they encourage confidence and aid digestion. Protective Tibetan dzi beads were traditionally carved from agate, but these were worn in necklaces rather than rings. Agate rings were worn for both protective and practical reasons by ancient Greek and Roman men, who used the carved agate cameo rings to seal important documents.